Microsoft expands CyberShikshaa; to provide cybersecurity training to 45,000; 10,000 jobs

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Microsoft has announced the expansion of its CyberShikshaa program in association with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Tata STRIVE, and ICT Academy. In the next three years, the program aspires to reach 45,000 women and underserved youth with technical skills for careers in cybersecurity and provide internships or job opportunities for 10,000 learners.
CyberShikshaa launched by Microsoft and DSCI in 2018 claims to have trained 1,100 women and employed more than 800 women through multiple training batches. More than 5,000 underserved youth have also been trained in Cybersecurity Beginners modules. CyberShikshaa for Educators with ICT Academy, the latest addition to the CyberShikshaa portfolio launched in June 2022 for providing cybersecurity training to 400 faculty members, will help build cybersecurity careers for 6,000 underserved students across 100 rural technical institutions and facilitate job opportunities for over 1,500 students.

In its fifth year, CyberShikshaa will focus on leveraging industry partnerships and conducting specialized training for careers in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry. Expanding its reach into semi-urban and rural locations of the country, the program will offer AI/ML training for cybersecurity product development and enable cybersecurity certifications through an enhanced Cybersecurity Beginners program named “Ready4Cybersecurity.” More than 10,000 rural underserved youth will be enabled with Ready4Cybersecurity certifications.
By 2025, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open globally, representing a 350% increase over an eight-year period, according to CyberSecurity Ventures. In India, cybersecurity jobs are projected to grow by 32% by 2028, the talent pool falls short by 42%. Women represent only about 21% of the country’s cybersecurity workforce. Given the massive talent shortage in a diverse cybersecurity workforce, there is a large untapped opportunity to decrease this deficit by skilling and employing underrepresented groups. When cyber adversaries come from diverse backgrounds, the defender community must be equally diverse for understanding and succeeding against them.
Rama Vedashree, former CEO, DSCI, who has steered the program since its inception, said, “The government and industry are working closely now more than ever to create a safer, resilient cyberspace. In the last four years, we have seen this program create significant impact by providing cybersecurity skilling and employment for women. We are confident that the expansion of CyberShikshaa for specialised training aimed towards specific sectors will help bridge the skills gap and provide organisations with industry-ready talent.”
The CyberShikshaa training curriculum comprises intensive training for more than 400 hours in several modules, including Information Security, Application Security, Cloud Security, Cyber Forensics, Cryptography, and Network Security, among others, along with crucial employability skills such as workplace communication, email etiquette and interview preparation. Trainings are conducted in more than 100 centers across India, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

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